You already know I'm not a single-platform loyalist so I don't have a horse in this race, but the $70 price point for new games was a long time coming. While Sony is the only console maker to do that so far with their own first-party titles, we've seen big third parties like Activision and Take-Two raise their prices to that point as well. It's only a matter of time before other companies start to follow suit. Inflation does matter for these things. The $60 price point was established as the norm back in 2005 when the 360 was released. That was 17 years ago. Since then, the dollar has lost fully a third of its purchasing power, meaning that a $60 game in Nov. 2005 was the equivalent of a $90 game today. Everybody also knows that recent inflation has been substantially higher. It's high enough to the point where $70 now has the same purchasing power as $60 did back in 2019. That means the price hike seen with first-party Sony games and certain third-party titles has already been effectively erased. Even when the $70 price point first hit in Nov. 2020, that was only the equivalent of what $60 was worth back in 2011.
Software prices on consoles are lower than they've ever been. That's not an opinion. That's simply a matter of fact. Yes, add-ons like DLC and microtransactions exist. They are also completely optional (and in some cases make things better than the old days; fighting game roster expansions come to mind). Of course, if someone chooses to pay the full $60-70 price for some AAA multiplayer title and plunks down dozens of dollars on purely cosmetic items, well, I fail to see how that's fully on the publisher and not the player (not that I'm excusing BS like loot boxes or what have you, but personal responsibility has to enter the equation at some point when it comes to spending money on optional add-ons). There's also plenty of good games that still launch for $60 or less (it seems pricing is far less standardized for retail-release titles these days), and many if not most non-Nintendo titles go down in price after a few months. There's also the option of subscription services like Game Pass, which gives you access to a huge selection of titles for the cost of two full-price games a year.
Aside from Halo (and I haven't had to pay for DLC maps in that series since 2013), I only play single-player games, and I know it's far easier on my wallet to buy video games now than it was 15-20 years ago. I've bought like five games already this year at an average of less than $40 per game through a combination of waiting and taking advantage of sales. There are still some games I consider "top priority" and do pay full price day one for them. Would I rather pay $60 than $70 for them. Sure. But I'm not going to lose any sleep over a price hike that was quite frankly inevitable.
To put how much cheaper the base price of a game is today in visual terms:
With only two major price hikes to the standard top price point in the past 20 years, console games haven't even come close to keeping up with inflation. In terms of pure sticker price, the $70 price point for a AAA console title is not by any means a rip-off in and of itself. Nobody should have assumed that console games would have stayed $60 forever. I knew it was coming, and was not surprised one bit when we finally got a price hike after two full console generations. I wouldn't even be surprised if we see the top price point for a new game go up to $80 next generation.
As the old saying goes, a dollar simply doesn't go as far these days.
Of course, this is just for the U.S. When it comes to historical and current inflation rates, for non-Americans your mileage obviously will vary.
P.S.: Current-gen versions of games being $10 higher than their last-gen versions isn't anything new, either. We saw that back at the start of Gen 7. I distinctly recall the PS2 versions of some games costing $50 while the 360 version was $60.
P.P.S: Trickle-down economics is indeed bullshit, though, but that's not what's really at issue here. Inflation is.
Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 10 September 2022